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With Hedera

For me the Great Interaction proved to be the most stimulating recent event.  Even Sell dropped everything to join the pilgrimage to see the effect of Outdoors on Swildons.  Quite a privilege to be there really.  There before your very eyes Instant Cave Development!

Outdoors got a little confused with Indoors and kept tripping over ‘Wig’ rushing Outdoors all over Mendip on his two flat feet pausing only to light another gasper and with

Shining eyes and waving arms to elucidate the latest marvel.  Well it was marvellous.  From the obvious ones like the Forty, and the vertigo inducing shaft at Manor Farm, to the ones which had to be deduced like the depth of flash rivers in the valleys – it was marvellous.  A walk done which was of absorbing interest was from the top of Velvet Bottom to Cheddar. Interesting to see how the water sank and re-appeared a few hundred yards later and to consider that the mass flow of water which burst from the narrowed Velvet Bottom were it joins the Cheddar Road was probably less than higher up Velvet Bottom.  It seems to me that most of the water from the upper catchment area sunk in the broader parts before it reached the Longwood intersection and that the water emerging at Cheddar Road came from the Longwood Valley and local catchment.  And I’ll show you where the lot sunk! (and resurged? –Ed).

Another outstanding consequence of the Awash was ones ability to walk up and down Cheddar Gorge in pleasant quiet traffic free conditions and to climb there with feeling antisocial.  Let’s start by demanding that at least the Upper Gorge be closed to self defeating traffic.  Common sense must prevail in the end.  Cheddar Gorge cannot be seen from the motor car the presence of which is destructive to appreciation.

Just after the Mendip Awash two Outdoor Men took a two seater canoe down the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal.  Fifteen miles in about six hours in sunshine passing through what must be the most beautiful countryside in the world and giving unique views of the Brecon beacons, the Black Mountains and Llangattock.  A car was left by the canal; a mile or so outside of Gilwern and then the other was driven to the viaduct near Brecon and the towing canoe put in the water a discrete distance from the lock keepers cottage.  Possibly the biggest laugh was the Talybont Tunnel which was entered to ecclesiastical tunes, there was  a pause for a ceremonial beer drinking ceremony halfway and then the rest of the tunnel was treated to secular singing.  The blushes came when a male member of a family party picnicking near the exit remarked dryly, “we enjoyed your singing!”

Meanwhile in the vertical plane bob Sell, Roy Marshall, Pete Sutton with a couple of characters called Bob and Rory have had what must have been a pretty satisfying holiday in North Wales.  They’ve scrambled on Meshag, on Brant, Slape, Sabre Cut, Grim Wall, The Brothers, Mallories Rib, Skylon, The Wrinkle, Yellow Groove and Main Wall.  Interesting to hear that the Main Wall in spite of its relatively low grading was thought good.  Bob Sell also joined Terry Taylor on Red Wall, an HVS, on the way up to Cryn Las. Now that’s something that I like to hear about in more detail because a more horrifying cliff I have yet to see.

Three hundred feet of impeding slime, perpetually wet and apparently smooth.  I just can’t imagine climbing it.  Ah well, pervertion is what the other fellow does.

Our ranks have been increased.  Eddy Welch has recruited a walker, Ruth, by marrying her.  The end justifies the means. Thank you Eddy.

University Of Bristol - Department of extra-mural studies.

Autumn Courses of interest to cavers: -------

Geology – 30 weekly meetings (Tuesdays). 8pm.  Commencing on 1st October 1968.

Limestone geomorphology – Sat. Nov. 23rd and Filed expedition on Sun. Nov. 24th.

Other courses include ‘Pollen Analysis’, Rocks and Quarrying, Fundamental of Soil Mechanics’.